Child Mind Institute’s What to Do (and Not Do) When Children Are Anxious
1. The goal isn’t to eliminate anxiety, but to help a child manage it
2. Don’t avoid things just because they make a child anxious
3. Express positive- but realistic- expectations
4. Respect their feelings, but don’t empower them
5. Don’t ask leading questions
6. Don’t reinforce the child’s fears
Learn more below!
Anxiety tends to be repetitive. Help your child build “Reminder Bridges” before anxiety shows up. Example – if your child always gets anxious before a test but ends up doing okay, remind them that this a pattern. Ask them what happened the last time worry showed up this way, help them see they were uncomfortable, uncertain, but they moved through it. This “Reminder Bridge” is their tool for the next time worry shows up this way. Connecting to these past successes through Reminder Bridges lays the groundwork for new neural pathways and through repetition defeats worry.
Check out this article from Lynn Lyons, LICSW!